Milk production up 5pct in March

Milk production up 5pct in March

HARARE, May 9 (The Source) – Zimbabwe’s raw milk production increased by five percent to 5,66 million litres in March, compared to 5,37 million litres achieved in the same period last year, latest figures show.

According to figures from the Ministry of Agriculture’s dairy services department, milk intake by processors grew six percent to 5,08 million litres from 4,79 million litres during the same period in 2016, while retailed milk declined 1,5 percent to 574,823 litres from 583,617 litres in the prior year.

The growth in production recorded in March marks a sharp recovery from a slump in February, which saw production fall 12,7 percent to 4,39 million litres from 5,03 million litres in February last year, on the back of heavy rains experienced countrywide.

Last year milk production grew by 13 percent to 65,36 million litres, but it was still short of the country’s annual requirement, estimated at 120 million litres.

Government is targeting milk production to rise to between 97 million and 100 million litres per annum by 2019, leveraging on a growing national herd and sectoral protectionist measures.

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